Is politic in music favored by few or many.What do you say about it?

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May 09, 2016, 05:54 AM

Music always was, is and will be fully expressing everything what we as humans feel. It will express message of love, message of hate (which is fortunately scarce.last one I remember is Cuban “Cuba si,Yankee no”),message of melancholy and sadness of lost love,as in so many beautiful Blues. Music is omnipotent in belonging to all nationalities ,age and color of any race in our world. With music we are able open doors of friendship or close them forever.
      There is one kind of music which had the most influence on people’s minds and it is the political kind of protest songs. One of the greatest music-man in my book was Pete Seeger.
My song would not be good enough to hide in a shadow of his guitar,but I wrote one anyhow.
      Last half a year,in spite of a hard work on renovation of my home in Florida,all these months of the political freak show of the primary election,I had a bit of time to put my impressions in to words and music. Music is still on a paper,but the lyrics are more or less ready. 

I’M GETTING SCARED

WHEN A NATION IS IN A SOMBER MOOD
AND GOING THROUGH A HELL
YOU BETTER LISTEN,DUDE
THIS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD
YOU JUST LISTEN WELL

WHEN SOMEONE TRIES TO STEAL YOUR MIND 
TO FORM IT TO HIS WILL
BE READY FOR THE BILL
HE HIT’S YOU, MY FRIEND BILL
SO FAR YOU WERE TOO BLIND

I’M GETTING SCARED
I’M GETTING TERRIFIED
WE NEVER SEEM PREPARED

I’M GETTING SCARED 
WHO’S FRIEND AND WHO IS FOE
I’VE SEEN ENOUGH TO KNOW

WHEN SOMEONE TRIES TO BUILD A WALL 
TO KEEP MY FREEDOM IN
HE’LL CREATE AN ENEMY
NOT ONLY FROM YOU AND ME
BUT FROM THE WORLD IN WHOLE

FREEDOM AND FRIENDSHIP WILL PREVAIL
TRUE WORD MOUNTAINS OF LIES WILL SCALE
AND ALL HUMANITY 
ADORNS THE EARTH WITH AMITY 
WE SHARE THE WORLD OF AMITY

I HOPE IT’S NOT ONLY A DREAM
OF MY FEVERISH BRAIN
MY WISHFUL THOUGHT IN VAIN 
FAR FUTURE’S SILLY GAME
THAT I WANT TO REDEEM

 
     
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Otto Kristen Joined Jul 26, 2006
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May 09, 2016, 07:31 AM

It does seem like us against them doesn’t it Otto. The few with all the power and authority scrambling
to justify their existence at the expense of the many. So many words about money and economy
but no action toward common sense ideals that would benefit all. I’m very pessimistic as well….....
Good to hear from you by the way!! Been a while :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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May 09, 2016, 09:05 AM

Hi Otto,

Don’t you think that a good political song needs a rousing chorus that makes you want to sing along, so that you feel your outrage in your gut and in your throat as well as in your mind? I don’t see the memorable hook that captures the feeling.

I love these lines:
“WHEN SOMEONE TRIES TO BUILD A WALL
TO KEEP MY FREEDOM IN”

Maybe you could build the hook around them. It seems to me they could form the basis of a really good chorus.

You have some “filler” lines, such as:
“YOU BETTER LISTEN,DUDE
THIS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD
YOU JUST LISTEN WELL”

I can’t help thinking that these don’t add anything and act as a drag on the song. Can you come up with something that adds meaning or moves the song forward?

The song feels like a hymn towards the end:
FREEDOM AND FRIENDSHIP WILL PREVAIL
TRUE WORD MOUNTAINS OF LIES WILL SCALE
AND ALL HUMANITY
ADORNS THE EARTH WITH AMITY

That last line reminds me of America the Beautiful “And crown thy good with brotherhood.”

Getting compared to America the Beautiful has to be good! One of the best songs ever written in my mind and a better national anthem than the Star Spangled Banner, which is also pretty good. Coming from a country that’s stuck with God Save the Queen, I’m envious.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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May 09, 2016, 04:49 PM

Thanks guys for your input. I do not think that this song will make a big hole in to the music industry, or that a lot of people will sigh Oh and Aahhh,but it’s enough that I got the steam off.Yes,it would be good to be able to write a hymn,but there are much better ones and already
famous.
    Gavin,do not feel stuck with God save the queen,it’s a good song and that old girl is the greatest monarch ever and i don’t like monarchy.But she is our queen,but it’s OK.By the way the Star Spanked Banner came from Britain and it was a drinking song before got a new coat,made of new lyric.

 
     
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Otto Kristen Joined Jul 26, 2006
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May 09, 2016, 05:45 PM

God Save the Queen is a bit of a snoozer, not to mention the verse that is no longer sung about “crushing rebellious Scots.” I have nothing against the Queen, but I can’t get fired up about a national anthem that’s basically wishing her a nice day.

This is what a national anthem should sound like, Amy MacDonald singing “Flower of Scotland.”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vkYiCdn834

It stirs the blood, but still doesn’t make us any better at football, unfortunately.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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May 09, 2016, 06:12 PM

Anyone that does a political song now is totally insane. In the era of social media, first of all you are going to be not only pilloried, but eviserated for your opinion. You will not only be assaulted on public media, you will be threatened in your life. Your children and grandchildren will be dragged into it. Your creditors will be threatened. You will have the banks pull your mortage note. You will be cancelled by your credit card companies. If you have any health problems, they will be dragged into the public discourse. you will be called every name in the book and backed up by punitive action by those who dissagree with you. You will be sued, and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees. Or most likely, you will be immediately ignored, along with the hundreds of thousands or millions of other people doing the same thing. Gone in the blip of an electronic mega second.

Political thought on all sides are long gone. Dialogue is gone. Tolerance is gone. You are taking your life, your liberty and your mental well being totally for granted. And the other thing you have to remember, is that now EVERYBODY has a soap box and outlet called SOCIAL media. So there is no distinction in people’s songs anymore. When Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, etc. had the microphone, there were not 30 million other people doing what they do. There weren’t 24 hour news stations. There weren’t forums for people to get their own opinions out, outside of newspapers. Now, everyone has their own opinion, millions if not billions of outlets, spreading it wildly, and there is no shortage of it. So any opinions you would have are drowned out immediately. Your feelings no longer have any one that cares about your feelings outside of yourself.

Sad, but that is life in the modern world.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 09, 2016, 06:17 PM
Marc-Alan Barnette - 09 May 2016 06:12 PM

Anyone that does a political song now is totally insane. In the era of social media, first of all you are going to be not only pilloried, but eviserated for your opinion. You will not only be assaulted on public media, you will be threatened in your life. Your children and grandchildren will be dragged into it. Your creditors will be threatened. You will have the banks pull your mortage note. You will be cancelled by your credit card companies. If you have any health problems, they will be dragged into the public discourse. you will be called every name in the book and backed up by punitive action by those who dissagree with you. You will be sued, and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees. Or most likely, you will be immediately ignored, along with the hundreds of thousands or millions of other people doing the same thing. Gone in the blip of an electronic mega second.

Political thought on all sides are long gone. Dialogue is gone. Tolerance is gone. You are taking your life, your liberty and your mental well being totally for granted. And the other thing you have to remember, is that now EVERYBODY has a soap box and outlet called SOCIAL media. So there is no distinction in people’s songs anymore. When Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, etc. had the microphone, there were not 30 million other people doing what they do. There weren’t 24 hour news stations. There weren’t forums for people to get their own opinions out, outside of newspapers. Now, everyone has their own opinion, millions if not billions of outlets, spreading it wildly, and there is no shortage of it. So any opinions you would have are drowned out immediately. Your feelings no longer have any one that cares about your feelings outside of yourself.

Sad, but that is life in the modern world.

MAB

So, just to be clear, you’re hinting that it’s not a great idea?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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May 09, 2016, 06:42 PM

Oh quite the contrary. If you like hatred, divisiveness, anger, people threatening your very life and those of your children and grandchildren, more people wanting to jump all over you, and the anti, whatever you say, going on for days and days, it is the perfect thing to do. Of course, you could do a couple things that would be a bit easier with the same result. Go find a huge angry hornet’s nest in the middle of a wood, or a nice web of Africanized honey bees, stand underneath it and slap at it with a stick.

Or you could just post your song, your thoughts, on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin. Any of those will yield you the results you are looking for very quickly. Great idea.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 09, 2016, 10:11 PM

The Internet has done a few interesting things to our society. It allows for a bit of annonimity, and so people will say things to other people they never would to their faces. Also it allows everyone to broadcast their opinions and allows for vitriolic rebuttals. The current political climate has simply turned every one on each other. So calm discourse has gone out the window.

Political songs are another one of those things that most writers don’t feel ANYONE else does. They don’t hear them on the radio, don’t hear many or any artists do them, so they feel that they are not out there. The truth is actually the opposite. EVERYONE seems to do them. Whenever we have had a war, political crisis, financial hard times, world calamity, they come out of the woodwork. Some try to unite people and bring the world together. And as much as you would think that would make people calm down, it actually does the opposite. It seems to stir people up even more. So many people are just itching to be offended. And THEY just HAVE to put those opinions out there. The result is that there seems to be tension everywhere.

So to answer the original question, “Is politic in music favored by few or many?” Would probably be answered by most as:, “Yes. Political music is favored. As long as it is MY POLITICAL MUSIC.” Again,  you could Google “Political songs” on YOU TUBE and see the results you get. You will find videos and music on pretty much anything you want, all sides of any issue. And you could see the comments those songs attract. Can be quite disturbing.

it all goes along with whatever the writer wants to say. But they have to accept the fallout that might go with what they want to say.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 10, 2016, 10:41 AM

WOW MAB! For someone with as much to say as “you” to avoid political opinion is truly amazing! LOL
I think if you’re going to write a “political” song you just have to censor “yourself”. In other words,
instead of adding to an existing argument, focus on providing a solution.

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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May 10, 2016, 11:38 AM

Yes, I understand that. It is a personal decision backed by years of experience. I never cared for the political discourse of the 60’s, 70’s or beyond. Always cringe when I see some actor or singer giving his or her political opinion, particularly when that is not what I am interested in them doing. Have sat through hundreds of diatribes from all kinds of people portraying their own importance around in concerts. And in the past 20 years or so as I have seen the general mood and attitude of the populace turn nasty, I have shied away from it even more.

No one really cares about my opinion on most of those subjects, and I really don’t care for their’s, it really is not going to affect me one way or another. My comments on this are specifically on what I see on an almost daily basis. If you don’t think songwriters feel they have a responsibility to chime in on EVERY SUBJECT and usually done very poorly, coming off as preachy, dismissive, degrading, and frankly insulting, you are not paying attention. Even the attempts to pull people together, “raise awareness”, or “providing a solution” brings divisiveness, as people will give a “what do YOU know about it?” or a “Who are YOU to tell me how to think” attitude.

For me, it’s just not worth getting into it. But a lot of people feel completely the opposite and want to dive in head first. That is their right. We do have the freedom of speech, but not the “right to be heard.” People don’t have to listen. And in most cases, they don’t.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 10, 2016, 06:10 PM

Back when the world was young the CIA-Mafia alliance was taking over the southeast Asian drug trade and using American teenagers as soldiers to do it. We all had a lottery number, sort of like the numbers Nazis tattooed on the 17 million people they enslaved. Hearing Songs with meaning was very significant to us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJY For What It’s Worth.

People were protesting the violent assault being waged against civilian populations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and other countries. There were worldwide protests. In gangster controlled areas like Mexico and Ohio and Los Angeles they simply gunned down the people. There was no authority domestically or internationally to hold them to account.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68g76j9VBvM Ohio

On May 4th, 1970 the Governor, James Rhodes (R), a friend of Jimmy Hoffa’s, sent in National Guard troops to the Kent State University campus. The gangsters had learned to infiltrate protests with ‘incendiaries’, people who looked like everybody else but whose purpose was to turn the protest violent. They broke windows, set fires, and in Ohio, hurled stones at the armed Guardsmen. The Guardsmen fired, killing people in the crowd, passersby, randomly.

The CIA or FBI had no qualms about letting record companies know the protest Songs were working to inform people and make them think. Thinking is prohibited by fascist regimes. Record executives quickly put out the word that Songs of political ideology were not wanted and would not be promoted. “If you want to send a message,” they told artists, “send a telegram.”

If you are motivated to write a Song of political import, write it. You may never get a record company to grow the hair to promote it, but still, that was what you knew, what you felt strongly about, and that’s what Songwriting is about, whether Presidents or Governors or FBI/CIA men or record executives like it or not.

Merle Haggard, a career criminal who didn’t have a lottery number, wrote “Okie From Muskogee”, condemning the protests of the time. It earned him what he said was, “My proudest award.”, a pardon from the puppet politician, Ronald Milhouse Reagan (R).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYFD2-_Xng8 Okee From Muskogee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn6cxaKRwtk For Your Love

Not a Song of political import but certainly a good one that popped up on Youtube.

[ Edited: 11 May 2016 06:57 AM by Gary E. Andrews]

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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May 11, 2016, 06:59 AM

Hey,guys,you make me feel quite priviledged to have you contributing on my posts.Marc-allen,Gary old friend,Gavin and Japov.I just hope that more of our friends on this S101 wil read your thoughts and viewpoints to enrich their’s and get more involved as I am trying to do.Thanks guys.

 
     
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Otto Kristen Joined Jul 26, 2006
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May 11, 2016, 07:07 AM

I have been thinking about including mine and posts of yours,my friends,in to my memoires. Naturally with your consent and with all credits
with your names with it.

[ Edited: 13 May 2016 06:07 AM by Otto Kristen]
 
     
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Otto Kristen Joined Jul 26, 2006
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May 11, 2016, 09:07 AM

Gary,

Politcal songs and discourse have a long standing history. And they go on today. There is no shortage of political thought in music. right now, Bruce Springsteen and others are boycotting North Carolina due to their “bathroom” bill. But you are not going to hear political songs on the radio because the landscape has changed. People have a voice. Now boycotts and social media would destroy an artists career immediatly. Songs played on a radio station that hit the ire of the public, would find that station under assault. Protestors would surround it and shut the station down. Police cars would be attacked. Looting and robbing would go on. The executives would have their addresses published and people show up at their homes and harass their children. Businesses who support the station would be boycotted.

You see now,everyone has a voice. The Internet has changed everything, and it is turning more and more violent. People are no longer passive. They are very reactionary and very dangerous. We are in an era of “not only do you NOT have an opinion, but we dare you to put it on the airwaves.”

Imagine some artist coming out about the dangers of radical Islam, or saying that “All Lives Matter.” What happens on that now? They are shut down. Social media explodes. The 24 hour news cycle has them on every five minutes. Their relatives are terrified. Their concerts would turn into fighting in the parking lots and constantly yelling at their show shutting them down. Any younger artists would be dropped by their record labels and distanced by everyone they have ever known. And if it ran up against the wishes and sentiments of political administrations, they would find themselves under IRS audit, and possibly face jail time, if not bankruptcy.

People romanticize the 60’s and Bob Dylan and a lot of social change were ushered in by music. But they conveniently forget certain aspects. When Dylan “stopped’ talking about political issues and went electric, he was shouted off stages in England, Pete Seeger tried to cut his electrical chords at a Folk Festival, and led to Dylan taking advantage of a minor motorcycle accident to totally dissappear from the scene, not wanting to be THE protest voice of his generation. The Beatles were always very careful to make political statements in their music and only did so in very veiled references. For that very reason. They were not interested in being the political poster boys for anything.

Is it still out there? Of course. Can writers and singers write and sing about it? Absolutely. They do all the time. Will it be big on radio, very definately not. And there are a lot of reasons for that. But through Social media, people can generate a lot of attention for their cause, both good and bad. But what ever anyone does, if they are trying to find an audience and put political commentary with their music, they will alienate half their fan base immediately. They might gain some others, but the negative aspects in my opinion, far out way whatever temporary self satisfaction they get out of it.
But there is no shortage of it.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 11, 2016, 09:19 AM

MAB. I understand your views on this subject and have no more time than you do for self-important celebrities foisting their politics on audiences who didn’t ask to hear them. However, I think you maybe misunderstand the purpose a good protest song can serve. It is no more likely to change somebody’s mind than a Facebook rant, but it serves as a rallying cry for those already on that side of the issue. It gives them something to sing at rallies or listen to in their Volkswagen Bug or Prius on the way there. That’s why it needs arousing chorus.

Gary, “Okie From Muskogee” was one of the first country songs I became familiar with. On my first visit to the USA, I stayed with a friend in Texas. He had an ironic appreciation for country music reflected in his collection of the corniest songs he could find, and this was one of them. At the time, I thought Merle Haggard (whom I had never heard of before) was also being ironic, that he was having a joke at the Okies’ expense. As a cynical European, it never occurred to me that anyone could take himself seriously singing a song like that. I had a lot to learn about America!

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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